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--- Kamaraju Anil Kumar

madhuramaina bhāsha manjula gaļamutō
bhakta kōţi madini bharti jēyu
sūţi māţa paliki sūkshmadharmambulē
ceppucnḍu sāyi oppu mīra.

“Filling the hearts of a host of devotees
With his sweet language and melodious voice
Enshrining in plain speech the subtlest dharmas,
Sai ever speaks in the most laudable vein.”

“Sir, what an admirable discourse has Bhagavan delivered! That bhajan at the end! The voice, the melody! Oh, my! Take it from me, sir, it is so very marvellous. I never heard a discourse like this anywhere. Strange! But, after listening to Swami, all the doubts in our minds have disappeared. What a wonder!” Thus many devotees go on rejoicing. One devotee observes, “I found in Swami’s discourse the solution to my problem.” An elderly gentleman says, “Haven’t I heard any number of speeches! How many eminent persons have I sought so far? How many speeches have I heard earlier? But, in the whole world, nothing can compare with the darśan and sambhāshan of our revered Baba. I am now above seventy. In all my years, Swami’s speech is a wonder, utterly matchless in the world.” A scholar asserts, “I have read and also written many books. But, I am yet to come across an explanation or a commentary as vivid as our Swami’s. He is God himself. That is why his speeches have a divine sweetness.” A famous poet remarks, “I have noticed a unique feature in our revered Baba’s speeches and writings: idea and expression seem to race against one another. Words seem to be eager to gush out of his mouth! It is totally different in the case of people like us. Our verbal pomposity conceals a woeful paucity of thought. Indeed, a profound concept is not easily expressed in words.” An old woman, who cannot even move about by herself, adds, “I listened to many expositions of the purāŋas. But, when I listen to Swami’s rendering of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavata, the scenes come alive flashing vividly before my eyes. Such is the flow of his narration!” Young men comment, “Swami’s ideas are really ideals for the youth of today. Swami explains them through illustrations from modern science and technology also.” In this way people from all strata of society express their joy.

All speakers, whatever may be their status or experience, need to look up to Swami as their model. Such is the nectarine sweetness of Swami’s recital that even great musicians feel like learning from our revered Baba a lesson or two in singing softly and touching the hearts of men. Poets too are amazed at the vigour of Swami’s language. Swami’s discourse offers, at one and the same time, solace, peace, and joy to lakhs of people. There is absolutely no room for confusion. Whatever may be the topic, his divine conversation proceeds in a simple, straightforward and pleasing style, driving home the point in the fittest and most agreeable manner. Sweet language and melodious voice commingle and gladden the hearts of a host of devotees. Elucidating subtle dharmas is Swami’s uniqueness and his focus.

kappurambu telupu, kāmadhēnuvu telupu
cukka telupu hamsarekka telupu
andamaina sāyi mandahāsamu telupu
unna māţa telupucunna māţa

“More than the juice of grapes or sugarcane,
More than the flower and the baby’s smile,
Sweetly enchanting are the words of Sri Sai,
Bestower of Peace and Love, Sri Sathya Sai.”

True, indeed. We do eat several kinds of delicious fruits. All of us have enjoyed grape juice and sugarcane juice too. Each has its own sweetness. Their sweetness is a natural quality. Our revered Baba’s words too are sweet, but not quite in this way. They are the very quintessence of all sweetness. His briefest utterance and even his slightest hint are exquisitely sweet. The smile of a baby in the cradle makes us forget the whole world. That is why they equate a baby with God. Innocence, amāyakatvam (freedom from māya), and Purity are ever reinvigorating. On any day a half blown flower charms us. Baba’s words too are just like them. They are not words, but sugar candy.

kappurambu telupu, kāmadhēnuvu telupu,
cukka telupu, hamsa rekka telupu,
andamaina sāyi mandahāsamu telupu.
unna māta telupucunna māta

“Camphor is white and the wish-fulfilling cow too.
A star is white and the wing of a swan too.
The beatific smile of our charming Sai is white.
This is a fact, a fact I tell you.”

There is nothing as soothing as moonlight. Nothing is iridescently white as lightning, or scintillatingly bright as a star. Revered Baba’s smile has all these in it. With a beautiful set of teeth and sparkling eyes, our Swami strikes us as the embodiment of beauty. Is not the blending of Truth, Auspiciousness and Beauty, Divinity itself? Even as the beauty of Lord Krishna, Gītācārya, Pūrṇāvatāra, the Supreme Spirit, is visible in the charm of the child Krishna, the dark blue Krishna, and is eternally attractive to us, the blissful smile of Bhagavan Baba, the avatar of the Kali Yuga, reflects the glory of God incarnate, Vaţapatraśāyi, of little Krishna resting on the banyan leaf. This is how we feel:

kannulandu nepḍu kāruṇya dṛshţitō
palkulepuḍu prīti lolukucunḍu
nagumōmu nityamu nam ṛta bhāvamē
hṛdayamandeppuḍu mudamu gūrcu.

“With his glance ever compassionate.
His words ever gentle and pleasing,
And his smiling face sweet as nectar.
He always fills our hearts with bliss.”

We always pine for his loving conversations. The very thought of him or even a mere reference to him immerses us in joy.

kannīru teppincu kannīru tappincu
cinmayamūrti ō cinnirāmā!
piccini paţţincu piccini pōgoţţu
saccidānanduḍu sāyirāma!
jōgi bhōgiga cēyu bhōgi jōgiga jēyu
bhāgavatāgnivi bālarāma!

“Wiping away our tears (of sorrow),
O Embodiment of Pure Consciousness,
You make us shed tears (of joy),
O Infant Rama!
Making us mad (for your love),
O Embodiment of Being-Awareness-Bliss,
You drive out our (mundane) madness,
O Sai Rama!
Showering wealth (spiritual) on the mendicant,
O Sacred flame of Bhagavata,
You turn the wealthy into mendicants (for your love),
O Child Rama!”

Granting us the boon of his divine darśan, He makes us shed tears of joy, and rescuing us from our troubles, He wipes away our tears of sorrow. Curing us of our madness, our fascination for worldly entanglements, He inspires in us a sublime madness, turning our thoughts wholly towards God. Our Baba, inaccessible in no other way but total surrender, can reverse destiny. Is not our wonder-working Baba’s power of transforming a mendicant into an aristocrat, and an aristocrat into a mendicant an instance of the ways of Providence?

Indeed, Sathya Sai’s utterance is Truth: in tune with the most ancient lore and traditions, it is the distillation of the Vedas and the Upanishads, an epitome of the Puranas, and the essence of the entire body of mantras. Pregnant with solemnity and sweetness, it moves the hearts of all men.

grandhammulanniyu gālinci cūcina
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
vēdammulanniyu vedaki cūcina gāni
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
śāstrammulanniyu cadivi cūcina gāni
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
gāyatrimantramu ghanamugā ceppina
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
dharmaśāstramulanu taraci taraci cūḍa
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
stōtrapāthamulanu śōdhinci cūḍanga
satya sāyi paluku satyavākku.
“Studying all the works of all the learned, you find,
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.
Searching all the Vedas, you notice,
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.
Reading all the scriptures, you learn,
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.
Chanting solemnly the Gayatri mantra, you learn,
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.
Churning all the moral codes, you conclude,
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.
Scrutinising all the divine hymns, you realise.
Still the only Truth is Sathya Sai’s teaching.”

Our revered Baba’s life itself is his message. That is why the whole world is attracted to him. Undoubtedly, the upholding of ideals through exposition, practice, and demonstration is a characteristic of the great and glorious Sai incarnation. Drawing a comparison with anyone is a mistake. Our Swami is unique, and has no equal. God is our guru, our path, and our goal. Therefore, we should be on our guard against the vagaries of the mind.

We know well the sad fate of Ravana who, in spite of being a devotee, failed to recognise the divinity of Rama. Even great sages, as the Puranic stories illustrate, fell victims to anger, jealousy, hatred, and the like. The attitude of a man as great as Dronacharya brings home to us the fact that ‘gurus’ too are not above certain limitations. Did not even Sukaracharya initially frown upon the noble sacrifice of Emperor Bali?

Incarnations, on the contrary, are in a class apart. They literally embody lofty ideals. Though Lakshmana was ever by his side and remained a close companion, Rama’s declaration runs: “There is no brother equal to Bharata.” Lord Krishna, the protector of the Pandavas who, defying kings and emperors, never disobeyed his command, and espousing dharma, chose to live in the forest subsisting on roots, is the pūrṇāvatāra. Our Baba declared,

bīdasādalakaina penubādha tolaginci
lēmini bāpuţē prēma nāku,

“For me, protecting the destitute, wiping away their agony and penury is “Love’.” Our Swami is literally God incarnate. It is the height of ignorance to compare him with human beings. Most of the so called “great” men fall into one or the other of the following categories.

kallu pelluga drāvi nallamandunu mringi
bhangunu sēvincu bhavyamatulu
sārāyi ceḍagrōli cāvu tinḍi tini
māmsambu namilēţi mahitamatulu
jīvuḍu cāvaḍu jīvahimsa leva
ţancu pīkalu trencunaţţi ghanulu
maruguna vaishṇavamatamani sārāyi
grōli māmsamu tinu guruvulakunu
talaku kaipekki sushka vēdāntamandu
pramukhulai tarkavādamulē balpasandu
noppagā nendarō citra yōgulaţlu
talaci ceḍipōvu nani bhīti valadu.

“Quaffing toddy, gulping opium,
Some ‘honourable’ men are slaves to bhang;
Swilling illicit liquor, munching on meat,
Some ‘celebrities’ go feasting at funerals;
Chanting, ‘Spirit is immortal, there is no killing,”
Some ‘luminaries’ take to chopping off heads;
Under the cloak of Vaishnavism,
Some ‘gurus’ indulge in meat and moonshine;
Maudlin masters mouthing vain philosophies,
Distinguished for delight in debate and quibbling,
So many there are ‘queer yogis.’
Yet, be not afraid that they may ruin you.”

These “honourable” men, “luminaries,” “celebrities,” and “queer yogis” cannot point out an ideal, teach us what we ought to do, or lead us to our goal. We need not fear that the ‘queer yogis’ bring about our ruin. The reason? Verily, God himself is indeed showing us the ideal, reminding us about our duties and obligations, and offering jñāna through his nectarine instruction. Our revered Baba’s words are not mere talk, but golden words to be inscribed on stone, for ever memorable. Our Swami, the embodiment of adhyātmavidya, is Dakshinamurthy indeed. His teachings are meant, not for mere listening, but for putting them into practice. They are not mere lectures, but blazing directives for a right life style. Swami is Perfection. His is a nature which loves us, takes into account only the good in us. Swami reveals the Truth about himself saying, “I separated myself to love myself.”

kōţi pūsala kokka kolkipalkē gāni
nīţi māţala kōţi nēra ḍitaḍu
cacci puţţuţa mānpu caduvu vaccune gāni
caccu vidyalu rāvu sāyi kepuḍu
manasiccukonu prēma māţalāḍune gāni
sāyi upanyāsa mīyalēḍu
tana yadārthata tānu tappaka canu gāni
eduţi tappulu bāba ennalēdu
kallākapaţālu teliyani pillavāḍu
ella jīvula tanavale yencu vāḍu
iţţi murīśuḍu janmincināḍu
paţţu baḍināḍu bhaktiki bāba gānu

“Like the lead bead in a pearl necklace,
His word is a total stranger to glib eloquence;
Ending the cycle of births and deaths is his study,
Sai never knew a thing about pointless learning;
Pouring forth the Love in his heart he speaks,
He never delivered a long-winded lecture;
Dwelling constantly on the Truth of the Self,
Baba never looked at faults in others;
Like an infant ignorant of lies and deceit,
All beings he views just as himself;
Such a Murisa is amidst us born
As Baba who yields only to Love.”

Swami explained long ago the manner of instruction appropriate for our time, pointing out aspects requiring special emphasis. He highlighted the Truth about a vast range of issues concerning the individual, community, society, nation, world, politics, righteous conduct, moral codes, and spirituality. Thousands of Swami’s discourses and writings have appeared in print, and many more are yet to be published. His conversations with groups of foreigners abound in numberless humorous anecdotes, jokes, and witty remarks. Those too have to see the light of day. Countless indeed are Swami’s speeches and conversations with students over the years. These too are yet to be recorded, and made accessible to one and all.

Today books dealing with Swami’s message, classified by topics, are available. Sathya Sai Literature has gained wide publicity among the peoples of all languages of the world and exercises enormous influence on millions. Besides providing unprecedented insights into related issues, this multifaceted literature (Sai’s versification, narrative method, graceful diction, skilful poetic style, vigour of language, and unrivalled erudition), fills the hearts of readers with a divine sentiment.

At the World Telugu Conferences held in Malaysia a few years ago, one session was devoted exclusively to discussing in depth the importance and uniqueness of Sai Literature. Researches into Sai Literature have been undertaken at a number of universities in India and abroad. Andhra University, Utkal University, and Delhi University are among the Universities awarding doctorates for research on Sai Literature. In many foreign countries, including Thailand, Zambia, Singapore, Mexico, U.S.A., England, Canada, and Argentina, special studies of Sri Sathya Sai System of Education have been undertaken.. The rise of educational institutes of the Sai model has received wide acclaim. These institutes which maintain high standards, and combine academic excellence with emphasis on right conduct have, in turn, inspired similar attempts elsewhere. Sai, who has devised programs for students at different levels (“Bala Vikas” for children, “EHV” (Education for Human Values) for higher classes, and “Educare” for the University level) is indeed the grand bestower of Knowledge and Wisdom. In the field of educational programmes, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba occupies the foremost place in history among pioneering innovators. There is an urgent need to relate our merciful Swami’s messages on right living and various aspects of everyday life to trends in contemporary society and arrive at an overview and synthesis. The present venture is an attempt on those lines.

They say that literature and music are the very form of Goddess Saraswati. Music is dear to Swami. How our revered Baba himself composed songs, set the notation and melody, and taught devotees how to sing them with appropriate rhythm and beat is well known to readers of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram. The divine glory of the avatar is associated, right from his infancy, with the happy commingling of music and literature.

Several eminent exponents of Western music, North Indian Hindustani music, and South Indian Carnatic music, singers and instrumentalists as well, have given performances in Bhagavan’s presence,. This opportunity they deemed as the most prestigious in their careers, indeed as the very fruit of the merit of their past lives. Ferguson, Dana Gillespie, and several groups of artists from about 60 countries including Italy, Germany, France, and America are indeed among those who had given stirring performances before Bhagavan Baba. All of them had with one voice acclaimed Sai’s musical skill.

Music today is dominated by the heavy sounds of a number of instruments, and is far from delighting the listener. Not much needs to be said about compositions either. It has now become a matter of box office collections and ratings. But, artists who view music as a spiritual vehicle for pleasing the Supreme Lord, and captivating the listeners, and who perform in that spirit are rarely found,

In this situation, there is need for research on Sai’s musical compositions. Some of Sai’s songs go very well with dancing. They also follow traditional rhythms and notation. From a historical perspective, these are reminiscent of the contributions of devotees noted for their poetic and musical talents such as Tyagaraja, Annamayya. Purandaradasa, and Ramadasa. The lineaments of Sai Saraswati, with the strains of the celestial Muses, Narada and Sarada embedded in them, allow us glimpses of Baba, the sovereign of Music, glimpses worthy of study and adoration. Moreover, it should also be noted that Baba’s compositions offer a rich blend of ideals for mundane living on the one hand, and bhakti, jñāna, and vairāgya, on the other. With haunting preludes and manifold ragas, Sai Music, a feast to the ears, has the audience spellbound with its double strands of gems. Let us hope that Music Universities will come up soon in this country, and many significant contributions will be made, leading to the awarding of doctorates. The present article touches but briefly on this aspect. We learn that that research into Sai’s compositions has been undertaken by the Music department of the Mysore University. We hope that in due course, students and lovers of music take to study of Sai Music increasingly, discover new features, and make a mark for themselves.

There is one thing all of us should constantly bear in mind. Bhagavan showered his Grace by his advent among us. We, who are blessed to be his contemporaries and the recipients of his Love and protection, and enjoy peace, happiness, and status in society, have to repay our debt to the Divine. You may wonder how this is to be done. We should thoroughly imbibe Sai’s nectarine message, enjoy it heartily, share it with others, and make it widely known. This is the least we should do. Future generations should not view us as selfish people, or dismiss us as lacking in the full experience of the avatar. That is why the dissemination of Sai’s message should start as the experience of an individual, then become part of a group, and merge in the infinite ocean of the Supreme Spirit.

They say, what is offered to Krishna is what has already been received by his Grace. Similarly, let us enjoy what has been received by Sai’s Grace, share it with everyone, and make an offering of it to him again. This is Karmayoga, this is Jnanayajna.
(Translation: Padma and Ramesh Dutta Thippavajjala)


Source:  with kind permission of Prof. Anil Kumar / SBOI


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